Earthlands, a local environmental organization, local renewable energy advocates, and Nipmuk Cultural Preservation Inc. of Oakham are sponsoring an estate and tag sale on Saturday & Sunday, November 5-6, 2016 from 8:00 a.m.to 2 p.m.on the Petersham South Common to benefit the Standing Rock Sioux campaign and local environmental education initiatives. Continue reading Tag sale in support of pipeline resistance at Standing Rock
Help Needed to Get a Good Comprehensive Energy Bill Passed for Massachusetts.
Even though the Kinder Morgan NED project is cancelled there is still work to do on clean energy legislation. See Actions to Take before June 30th to help get a forward looking Energy Bill passed for Massachusetts.
Omnibus Energy Bill Includes Off-Shore Wind and Hydro with NO Ban on Pipeline Tax
On June 8, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on the long-awaited energy bill. The final version of the bill, which passed 154-1, included 1,200 MW of offshore wind — a historic step forward, although we still need to go much further — and a great amendment on fixing gas leaks. Unfortunately, amendments banning the pipeline tax and increasing the RPS were “laid aside” without coming to a vote. From here, the energy bill will go to the Senate, where citizens and State Senators may be able to make some changes. See MassLive news story on passage of House Bill 4377 by House.
Meanwhile the MA Department of Energy Resource is working to develop a new solar incentive program and will hold “listening sessions” and take written comments during June.
Some June and July happenings continue to be posted under Events.
Local Citizens Launch “Choose Solar Initiative” in Orange, Warwick and Wendell
Several local citizens in area towns formed a working group to start a “Choose Solar Initiative” to inform people of the benefits of buying a home solar system now. This effort was recently launched at an information meeting on homeowner solar electricity (PV) where people learned about the benefits of investing in solar now and taking advantage of tax incentives and a new state solar loan program.
People learned about the benefits of owning solar electricity for their homes from the Solar Store, Northeast Solar and PV Squared recently in Warwick. This was the first information session of the Choose Solar Initiative.
For more information about the Choose Solar Initiative and buying rather than leasing a solar system see
MASS POWER FORWARD Coalition and others lobby for Meaningful Energy Bill in Massachusetts
Both North Quabbin Energy and North Quabbin Pipeline Action are part of this coalition working toward a clean energy future in the state. This includes working with the state legislature in hopes of including the following in the Omnibus Energy Bill scheduled to be released soon.
- 20% Solar PV by 2025
- Eliminate Net Metering caps
- Full retail Net Metering credits for community shared solar, low income and municipal projects
- No Pipeline Tax/Tariff to help pay for new large gas pipelines
- Support meaningful (2000MW) offshore wind development
- Ensure consumer and environmental protections for hydro-power brought into the state
- Include more energy conservation and energy efficiency programs in energy bill
- Build up a diversified array of sources for generating electricity including solar, wind, hydro, and energy efficiency to help the state lessen their carbon footprint instead of using over 50% gas (a fossil fuel) to generated electricity.
All these components for a good energy policy in the state seem important if we are to be able to organize on a local level and move toward the goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 25% by 2020. For immediate actions you can take see Actions.
Come to the Boston Statehouse to Celebrate and Rally for a Renewable Future and No More Pipelines
Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change Hearing: Commonwealth’s Clean Energy Future
We seem to have won a great victory on the NED pipeline – and it’s time to celebrate. It’s also a time to build on our strength to win more! We need to stop all pipeline expansions. We must stop the pipeline tax. And we must get our legislators to support smart, renewable energy and climate legislation to reduce emissions and support clean, renewable energy!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
See you at the Statehouse on May 3rd
Information about MA Dept. of Public Utilities Hearings and Legislative Work on Energy Bills.
Public Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) Hearings on Tennessee Gas Petition to Survey on Private Land Begins on March 29th with Greenfield Hearing on March 30. For background information and hearing schedule for all 6 locations see Survey Petition by TGP.
Tennessee Gas Files an Injunction Against Massachusetts — Public Court Hearing on April 15th at 1 p.m. in Pittsfield . In this case, Kinder Morgan/Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is suing the Commonwealth and its Department of Conservation & Recreation to gain the right of eminent domain to access land in Otis State Forest for the Connecticut Expansion pipeline project.
See Article 97 of MA Constitution for information Otis State Forest in Sandisfield — Guidelines for court hearing remain the same. Watch for information about possible rally across from courthouse building.
Important Note on National Grid, Eversource Petitions to DPU – Deadlines Set for Written Testimony –
• National Grid – DPU Dockets 16-05, 16-07 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 11, 2016
• Eversource – DPU Docket 15-181 — Deadline for Written Comments is May 23, 2016 Please submit written comments to the hearing officer identified in the respective notice, and also please copy email@example.com on your email. ALSO, send a hard copy of any comments to Mark D. Marini, Secretary, Department of Public Utilities, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts 02110. For information on hearings and background on petitions see Tariff on Electricity Bills.
For information on latest developments on the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED gas pipeline projects and filings with the MA Dept. of Public Utilities (DPU) and National Grid’s proposal to DPU for a tariff see Info Sheet Update2 Feb2016 and Info DPUHearing Sched Feb2016 2
For Events and Activities for March 2016 go to EVENTS
Information about the need to continue contacting legislators about the net metering cap on solar projects and the current bill now in a legislative conference committee is at
Energy Bills in MA Legislature — As August ends it is still unclear what energy bills will be considered by the State Legislature this Fall. It is important to keep contacting state officials and legislators about the Net Metering Cap. Before the Legislature recessed for August, Senator Rosenberg’s office reported that nothing could be done until this fall. It is still unclear if any energy bills will be considered this Fall. Meanwhile there is a cap on large solar developments and community solar in National Grid territory which includes 171 communities in Massachusetts. Continue calling legislators and Governor Baker asking them to lift the Net Metering cap (contacts for government officials).
On the proposed KM/TGP gas pipeline FERC is continuing to take comments for a couple of weeks in September on concerns pertaining to the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for PF14-22.
For September Activities see Events under Gas Pipeline.
July 2015 Actions Concerning Solar and Net Metering in MA — Write Governor Baker and State Legislators in July to call for lifting the Net Metering Cap on Solar and call a halt to new gas pipeline infrastructure – See Actions to Take.
Defending Renewable Energy, Solar and Community Shared Solar through Legislation: On June 2, 2015 at the Statehouse in Boston the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy will be holding a public hearing starting at 1:00 P. M. in Gardner Auditorium on bills related to solar energy and net metering. For more details and the bills that will be covered in this hearing see Solar Hearings June 2015
Berkshire Gas asks for more fossil fuels/gas in the future: On June 11, 2015 the MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) will hold a hearing at the Greenfield Middle School in Greenfield on a petition by Berkshire Gas to sign a contract with Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s NED project to receive 36,000 dekatherms per day of gas through the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project. This and other petitions to the DPU help set up continuing use of fossils fuels (natural gas) well into the future. See Docket 15-48 – DPU (http://web1.env.state.ma.us/DPU/FileRoom/dockets/bynumber). Enter 15-48 in DPU dockets by number to see comments and original Berkshire Gas petition.
See Events for details and more events.
State Legislature to Consider Energy Bills this Spring
Solar is Working — The State Legislature will take up several bills concerning energy, net metering caps on solar and other issues related to state policy on energy. To support bills that promote lifting net metering caps on solar and other renewable issues sign on at (http://org.salsalabs.com/o/2155/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17565). For more information on Net Metering caps and specific bills see MassSolar SD1616-H2852 presentation, 4.1.15 1. Also see for talking points April2015-Phone script for solar power-2.
See Events for upcoming regional events. Also see Actions to Take for latest on DPU hearings in Boston on proposed precedent agreements between gas companies and the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP NED project.
No Need for New Infrastructure such as Pipelines — Recently Ken Berthiaume from Orange, who is part of a team researching issues related to the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP 36″ pipeline, shared some of his research findings with Montague residents at an NQPA public event. Much of the information is taken from ISO-New England. See The Grid, Renewables & Jobs, Leaks and More_4.23.15
Take Action now –Sign the new petition to Governor Baker now (see Actions to Take) calling for a Clean Energy future which means supporting energy efficiency and conservation, working toward 20% of electricity generation from solar sources by 2025 and mandating full implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act. People can also continue writing to state legislators voicing your opinion and telling them to uphold Article 97 regarding protected land. See Research and Resources for more information
Note: Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!